Directed by Luigi Cozzi
A deserted cargo ship drifts into
New York harbor. When a group of doctors and police officers enter the boat
to discover what happened to the crew, they find a huge pile of strange egg-like
pods in the cargo hold. When one of the doctors attempt to pick up one of these
pods, it explodes and kills everyone in the hold except for one police Lieutenant
(Marino Mase). This Lieutenant, with the help of a special government agent
(Louise Marleau),eventually connects the pods with the strange events surrounding
a mission to Mars two years earlier. It seems that one Astronaut (Ian McCulloch)
went a bit insane on the mission and had these wild hallucinations about "eggs".
The story eventually ends in South America, where McCulloch, the Lieutenant
and the government agent come into contact with the origination of the eggs,
the scary creepy ooky "Alien Cyclops."
Contamination starts out slowly, but then goes into areas that you wouldn't usually expect. First of all, I really liked the way that most of the doctors and police officers which are offered to the audience as being the "main characters" which we will follow throughout the story are killed during the first few minutes of the film. We then start over with this Lieutenant and this government agent. And then the audience is beginning to think "well where the hell does Ian McCulloch fit into all this?" Then we eventually get to Ian. And then we go to this small South American town, where creepy ooky men in white suits are harvesting the eggs and killing anyone who gets near them. There's also some fairly interesting cinematography going on
The whole idea of the eggs and Martian cave which they come from is obviously a huge rip-off of Alien. (in fact, this film was actually was one of the few films released in some parts of the world under the title of Alien 2! Another one was Alien 2: Sulla Terra). The eggs are essentially replicas of the ones in Alien and when they "pulsate", the deep thudding sound they emit is almost a carbon copy from Alien. Contamination isn't exactly a total facsimile of Alien, but more like Alien with an Italian "zombi" twist: when the pods explode, anyone unlucky enough to be near them and get sprayed with their "goo" immediately goes into convulsions and gets the privilege of seeing their chest cavity literally EXPLODE in slow motion! I guess the Italians had no time to fool around with that facehugger/chestburster nonsense.
The mind-controlling "Cyclops" (Ogre?) creature at the end of the film was a bit of letdown. I guess this film suffers from the "Invaders from Mars" syndrome, where there's this huge build-up to this gigantic "master alien" but what the audience actually gets is an incredibly goofy rubber suit gag.
I've heard of a Japanese release under the title of Contamination which is widescreen and uncut. The "Alien Contamination" videocassette from Paragon which I watched is lacking in a number of areas. First of all, it's pan-and scan (the opening credits sequence is heavily "squeezed" in order to fit all the titles onto the screen). The Paragon release also appears to be slightly cut in a number of places, mostly during a few of the pod burst scenes.The European Creative Video release of Contamination is supposedly heavily cut. According to the Internet Movie Database, the Contamination and Toxic Spawn video releases are badly cut. I haven't heard anything in the way of DVD release coming, which is a shame.
©2002 John Hand. All rights Reserved.